WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Belohlavek, Stemme, Gambill, Skovhus [blu-ray]

Wagner / Gambill / Stemme / Lpo / Belohlavek
Release Date: 10/27/2009 
Label:  Opus Arte   Catalog #: 7039  
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Richard Mosley-EvansStephen GaddTimothy RobinsonNina Stemme,   ... 
Conductor:  Jiří Bělohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraGlyndebourne Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
Blu-ray Video:  $54.49
In Stock

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Note: This Blu-ray Disc is only playable on Blu-ray Disc players, and not compatible with standard DVD players.

Also available on standard DVD

Richard Wagner
(Blu-Ray Disc Version)

Tristan – Robert Gambill
Isolde – Nina Stemme
Brangäne – Katarina Karnéus
Kruwenal – Bo Skovhus
King Marke – René Pape
Melot – Stephen Gadd
Young Sailor / Shepherd – Timothy Robinson
Steersman – Richard Mosley-Evans

The Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Ji?í B?lohlávek, conductor
Nikolaus Lehnhoff, stage director

Recorded live at Glyndebourne, Lewes, Sussex on 29 July, 1 and 6 August 2007

- Illustrated synopsis and cast gallery
- Do I hear the light? A film by Reiner E. Moritz
- On the set – a slide show of the set being built
- Trimborn on Tristan – a talk about the musicological and philosophical backgrounds of Tristan und Isolde.
- Artists biographies

Picture format: 1080i High Definition
Sound formats: 2.0 and 5.0 Dolby TrueHD
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Menu language: English
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian
Running time: 358 mins
No. of Discs: 2 (BD50)

R E V I E W:


WAGNER Tristan und Isolde Ji?í B?lohlávek, cond; Robert Gambill ( Tristan ); Nina Stemme ( Isolde ); Katarina Karnéus ( Brangäne ); Bo Skovhus ( Kurwenal ); René Pape ( King Marke ); Stephen Gadd ( Melot ); Timothy Robinson ( Young Sailor, Shepherd ); Richard Mosley-Evans ( Steersman ); Glyndebourne Ch; London PO OPUS ARTE 7039 (2 Blu-ray Discs: 358:00)

& Film: “Do I hear the light” - Trimborn discusses Tristan

With the initial phrase of the first act Vorspiel of this Nikolaus Lehnhoff-directed Glyndebourne production, there appears in the middle of a jet-black screen a thin white line. Over the next 11 minutes, that line moves slowly, inexorably toward the viewer, revealing itself to be the words TRISTAN UND ISOLDE in a bold white typeface. It’s a perfect summation of the title characters’ perspective: all they need in this world, and the next, is each other. As the story progresses, external reality—the tumult caused by their actions—becomes less and less important. For the first several minutes of Marke’s act II speech, they just keep looking deeply into each other’s eyes.

I reviewed this 2007 performance’s DVD incarnation in Fanfare 31:6, and it remains my favorite video Tristan , preferred over those conducted by Barenboim, Levine, de Billy, and Armin Jordan. (Yes, I have the 1973 performance with Nilsson and Vickers on a Kultur DVD, but find it a real chore to watch because of the poor audio and video quality.) Check out a detailed account of the Opus Arte’s virtues in an old copy of the magazine or Fanfare ’s online Archive. But I will repeat here that Nina Stemme is an outstanding princess, as she was with Plácido Domingo for his EMI studio recording of a few years ago. Stemme’s singing is warm, full, and secure throughout her range, and her representation of the character is consistent for the entire drama. Isolde’s the same gal before and after opera’s most celebrated medication error: her vitriolic condemnation of Tristan has no more intensity than her subsequent passionate declarations. Tristan isn’t Robert Gambill’s best Wagner role—he’s a superb Tannhäuser (see review elsewhere) and Siegmund—but the American tenor never sounds to be struggling, and truly shines when he’s onstage with Stemme. “So starben wir, um ungetrennt,” the culmination of act II’s love duet, is a wonder. We are utterly convinced that, for this couple at least, death is the way to go. It makes perfect sense that they seem exultant at the arrival of Marke and Melot; this development, they know, only gets them closer to their ultimate shared goal.

Blu-ray’s high-resolution picture serves the minimalist sets well, with crisp delineation of the sharp lines of the production’s design. A subtlety of the costume design more apparent on BD is that, for act I, Brangäne and Kurwenal are dressed in colors that are slightly paler hues of what their respective masters are wearing. It’s as if these two are not quite a part of the protagonists’ reality—they participate in the action, of course, yet at a distance removed from the lovers’ world. The sound, Dolby TrueHD for both stereo and surround, is quite good, with the off-stage horns at the outset of act II convincingly distant, especially with the 5.0 multichannel. One remarkable psychoacoustic phenomenon: with the TV mounted well above the front speakers of my audio system, voices seemed to emanate from the screen while the orchestra was lower down, localized to a virtual pit.

Opus Arte includes the same extras as with the standard DVD, including a 56-minute film entitled “Do I hear the light?” and a wide-ranging talk from the piano bench by Richard Trimborn, a German musicologist. The label gets everything on two Blu-ray discs as opposed to three regular DVDs, but the list price for both formats is the same.

FANFARE: Andrew Quint
Read less

Works on This Recording

Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Richard Mosley-Evans (Tenor), Stephen Gadd (Bass Baritone), Timothy Robinson (Tenor),
Nina Stemme (Soprano), Katarina Karnéus (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Gambill (Tenor),
Bo Skovhus (Baritone), René Pape (Bass)
Conductor:  Jiří Bělohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2007 
Venue:  Glyndebourne, Lewes, Sussex 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title